May
15

This years Summit special event was held at South First Billiards, a rather large pool hall. They must've had 20+ pool tables. For the first hour and a half or so I played pool with Martin Dombroski, Bernie Dolan, and Christine Harold. I used my Flip video camera and shot two short videos of Bernie and I breaking. Check 'em out.


Me opening the game with a decent break.


Bernie Dolan opening the game with a decent break.

May
15

The first official day of the Adobe Community Summit was packed full of interesting talks from several key product players. This years summit is my third and every year it seems to get a bit better. The time spent with Adobe folks is invaluable and the information shared allows members of the Adobe community (Adobe Community Experts, User Group Managers, and Adobe Champions) to prepare for the future in ways not quite possible in the past.

The first person on the podium was Michele Turner, manager of the Adobe Technology Platform. She gave the keynote address discussing Adobe's general technology strategy. She also covered an overview of Adobe's 2 year technology roadmap. There are certainly some exciting things coming in the future.

Following Michele, was Scott Fegette, a long time Dreamweaver user, and video/audio production god. Scott talked about what we're likely to see in the next version of Dreamweaver. His talk was very well received as he is a dynamic speaker and always a crowd favorite.

Mike Chambers, another crowd favorite, took the stage next to walk through the current happenings with Adobe AIR. Most of what he covered is already public knowledge and just a recap what has occurred over the last 3 months since the launch of Flex 3 and AIR 1.0. He did share a few new tidbits indicating AIR has a bright future ahead.

After Mike's talk we broke for lunch. During lunch I had some great discussions with Peter Bell, Bernie Dolan, and David Harris on all things ColdFusion. Peter has walked through the fire of what is application generation and has an unbelievable amount of experience in this area. When he talks, I listen.

Kicking things off after lunch, Doug Winnie discussed how Adobe really has a strategy for reaching both the designer and developer and the workflows that integrate the two.

Next up was Steve Heintz who talked about Flex, both today and in the future. I couldn't remember if I had heard Steve speak before but he did a really nice job talking (conceptually) on what Adobe plans to do with Flex in the future.

One of the most impressive presentations was by Jen Taylor and Doug Benson who showed off some of the new features in the next version of the Flash Authoring tool. There were several jaw-dropping moments that caused me to "double-take" to be sure I wasn't seeing things. About all I can say, is Adobe has been busy on the Flash Authoring tool!

After we all wiped off the drool, Steve Heintz joined us again to talk about Thermo. Thermo's been a seemingly super secret tool with very little information about it shared with the community. That didn't change much with Steve's presentation, but he did give the impression Thermo has a clear focus and purpose which. It will be interesting to see how the community takes to Thermo as more information is shared in the future. I'm hoping this years MAX conference will bring more news on Thermo.

May
15

Most everyone should know by now Ed Sullivan is moving into a new role within Developer Relations at Adobe and he'll no longer be responsible for managing the user group program. There's no real replacement for someone like Ed, but Rachel Luxemburg will be taking on the task.

To show appreciation for Ed's influence and leadership in the program for so many years, Bob Flynn and the Indianna University Multimedia User Group, and other user group managers, recorded a video where they try to determine the perfect parting gift for Ed. I recorded the video presentation with my Flip camera and have made the the video available below in four parts. The last video is the presentation of some special gifts the user group managers bought for Ed.


Ed Sullivan Farewell Video - Part 1


Ed Sullivan Farewell Video - Part 2


Ed Sullivan Farewell Video - Part 3


Ed Sullivan Farewell Video - Part 4


Ed Sullivan Farewell Gifts Video

May
13

Last night, at the Adobe Community Summit welcome reception Rachel Luxemburg was introduced as the new user group manager for Developer Relations at Adobe. Rachel replaces Ed Sullivan who has been an amazing manager in this role for many years. Ed is a stalwart in the Adobe community and will continue working with the community in his new role in Developer Relations.

Rachel hails from New York City but currently lives in CA. She's an avid blogger and twitterer and has been a ColdFusion user as well.

Please give Rachel a warm welcome to Adobe and the Adobe community.

May
13

Yesterday began rather early with a quick trip to the Nashville airport. After roughly 6 hours in the air (Nashville - LAX - SJC) I landed in San Jose and grabbed a cab to the San Jose Fairmont, a really nice hotel in the downtown area.

Walking into the lobby of the hotel I was greeted by several smiling faces, Dee Sadler, Jim Pickering, David Schmidt, Buck Sommerkamp, and more. After a dropping my bags off in the room and catching up with folks we headed to Cupertino to visit Apple's infamous headquarters. While there we perused the on campus Apple Store, bought swag, and took a photo or two (in Flickr stream below) next to the "1 Infinite Loop" sign. I picked up a few Apple branded goodies including a pen, mouse pad, shirts for the fam, and a coffee mug (I love cool mugs).

Back at the Fairmont everyone gathered in lobby and chatted. Adobe Community Experts and user group managers were arriving one by one with each arrival marked with loud "Heys!" and hugs. While talking with Dee Sadler I described the Adobe Community Summit as the summer camp for adults. Most everyone knows everyone else through the different Internet channels we communicate through every day. Events like the summit work to solidify friendships because we spend an insane amount of time with one another at Adobe HQ, off campus events, hotel lobby chat sessions, and lunches and dinners through downtown San Jose.

Shortly before 6:00pm we headed over to Adobe's offices 4 blocks away. All the experts, user group managers, and several Adobe employees including Ed Sullivan, Stacy Sisson (the new Adobe Community Experts manager), Rachel Luxemburg (the new Adobe user group manager in Developer Relations), Jonathan Wall (Ed and Rachel's boss), and Mike Chambers, occupied the patio area just outside of Adobe's huge cafeteria. Adobe served beer (they ran out again this year) and appetizers to help everyone unwind and visit with friends. I don't know the exact numbers but I heard a report that over 150 managers and experts are in attendance this year. That's at least 50-60 more than last year marking an attendance high since the summit started in 2006.

After mixing and mingling with old (and new) friends we had two breakout sessions. One for the managers and one for the experts. Each grouped discussed their program, what was working and what wasn't and how as members of each respective group we can help the Adobe community grow further. It was a great first day.

I haven't taken many pictures yet, but they'll all be loaded to the Flickr photo stream below if you want to check them out as the week progresses.

Flickr photo stream

Apr
30

Last night I received a TeraTech care package with a bunch of goodies to give away to the local Nashville ColdFusion user group. Many thanks to Michael Smith and company for sending the items.

The box included:

  • 2 backpacks from previous CFUnited conferences. Backpack on left includes laptop sleeve (shown under hats).
  • CF stickers
  • CFUnited hats
  • CFUnited travel coffee mug
  • CFDynamics water bottle
  • CFUnited presentation/slides book
  • CFUnited flyers
  • CFUnited mini notebook with super thin pen that is stored with the notebook

Mar
20

The Acrobat Connect recording for Tuesday nights ColdFusion Powered AIR meeting with Zach Stepek is now available. Zach gave an excellent talk with tons of great information on powering your AIR applications with Flex using Web Services or Flash Remoting (AMF). The recording is 1 hr and 25 minutes and includes all Q&A.

Watch it here:
http://mmusergroup.adobe.acrobat.com/p83838845/

Mar
18

The general CF and Flex/AIR community are invited to attend a presentation tonight broadcasting from the Nashville ColdFusion User Group. Zach Stepek, Director of Interactive Development at Crave Media Group, LLC and author of Foundation AIR: Creating Desktop Applications with the Adobe Integrated Runtime, will be presenting ColdFusion Powered AIR. Barring any technical difficulties the preso will be available via Adobe Acrobat Connect Professional at the URL listed below. If the recording turns out, I'll post it to Charlie Arehart's UG TV sometime after the event.

WHEN:
March 18, 2008 at 6:30pm CST

WHERE:
http://mmusergroup.adobe.acrobat.com/r78233552/

Feb
26

Last night the Nashville Flex User Group and Nashville ColdFusion User Group held a special Flex 3 and AIR launch event. We showed the exclusive user group video produced by Adobe which included an inside look at the AIR project and the team behind the release. I gave a presentation on the business case behind Flex and AIR which included info on all the new features of Flex 3 and initial features of AIR 1.0.

We had food and drink and celebrated the event with a Flex/AIR cake (pic below). Lastly, I recorded eight 30onAIR videos which have been uploaded to YouTube and will be blogged here over the next few days.

Thanks to all those who came out for a great event. Congrats to the following people for winning our giveaways:

Enrique M. - Adobe Flex 3 Professional
T Scott C. - Sony Playstation Portable
Scott L. - ActionScript 3 Cookbook by Joey Lott
Steve B., Cutter B., and J.J. M. - Limited Edition Adobe AIR 1.0 Launch poster

Feb
24

As you may have heard, Adobe has announced the release of Adobe Flex 3 and Adobe AIR 1.0.

Flex 3 is a feature-packed release, adding new UI components like the advanced datagrid and improved CSS capabilities; powerful tooling additions like refactoring; and extensive testing tools including memory and performance profiling, plus the addition of the automated testing framework to Flex Builder. Adobe AIR is game-changing in so many ways, delivering rich applications on the desktop, enabling access to the local file system, system tray, notifications and much more. Now you can write RIAs on the desktop using the same skills that you've been already using to create great web apps including both Flex and AJAX.

For a more in-depth look at Flex 3 and AIR 1.0, come out to our special meeting tonight at Dealerskins! Adobe is sponsoring this meeting with food, giveaways and a raffle copy of Adobe Flex Professional. We'll also be giving away some special goodies that won't be announced until tonight.

Links you should check out:

AIR Showcase
http://labs.adobe.com/showcase/air/

AIR Marketplace
http://www.adobe.com/go/marketplace

Adobe Open Source
http://opensource.adobe.com/wiki/display/site/home

Sample AIR apps
Adobe Sample Apps: http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/air/samples/
Digimix: http://www.digimix.com/
AOL Top 100: http://music.aol.com/help/syndication/desktop-widgets
eBay Desktop: http://desktop.ebay.com/
Google Analytics: http://www.aboutnico.be/index.php/google-analytics-air-beta-sign-up/
Parleys.com: http://www.parleys.com/display/PARLEYS/Parleys.com+V2+BETA+Program
twitterAIR: http://www.aaronwest.net/blog/index.cfm/2008/2/25/twitterAIR-v120-for-AIR-10-Released

Opensource BlazeDS
http://opensource.adobe.com/blazeds/

30onAIR
http://www.30onair.com/

Flex Showcase
http://flex.org/showcase/

Feb
18

Adobe's RIA technologies enable you to rapidly build and deploy the most engaging applications across browsers and on the desktop. The 615Flex user group and the Nashville CF User Group are hosting a special live event to share exciting new information on Adobe's platform tools and technologies for building RIAs. You'll see an exclusive user group video presentation by Adobe CTO, Kevin Lynch, hear some important product news, plus get your hands on some exclusive schwag and other giveaways. Be part of the fun and excitement and join the rest of the Adobe developer community by participating in this very special event.

When:
Monday, February 25 at 7:00pm CST

Where:
Dealerskins Office
404 BNA Dr.(Suite 600 (Building 200)
Nashville, TN 37217

Map and directions:
http://tinyurl.com/36gw67

Jan
22

Flex 3/AIR Event This Week

Posted by Aaron West at 2:22 PM in User Groups, Adobe AIR, Flex, Flash

Ben Forta's Flex 3 / AIR pre-release tour has already begun and the Nashville stop on the US portion of the tour is this week. Any Flash, Flex, AIR, or ColdFusion developers are encouraged to come to the event and learn more about the next major release of Flex and the new Adobe Integrated Runtime product release.

Attendees are encouraged to register for the event so we can plan appropriately for the number of folks coming. Registering will also enter you into the drawings for Flex 3 (prize awarded when Flex 3 is launched), some cool Flex/AIR schwag, an iPod Nano, and 4 iPod Shuffles.

Subs, pizza, cokes and beer will be provided. All you have to do is show up! Considering the excellent speaker, fantastic product information, and free food and goodies, you'd be crazy to miss this event.

Jan
7

I'm pretty much copying the below announcement from Adobe verbatim. There's little I can do to make it better, and I want to make sure to get the word out. By the way, one of the stops for this tour is Nashville where the event will be taking place in the building I work in. If you are going to be near Nashville on January 24, I'd love to meet you at this event. You can register for the Nashville tour stop here: http://www.615flex.com/special-events/.

Flex 3 and AIR are getting close to launch and in preparation, the Adobe Platform Evangelist team is traveling to select cities to show off the great new features and some brand new demos.

Flex 3 is a feature-packed release, adding new UI components like the advanced datagrid and improved CSS capabilities; powerful tooling additions like refactoring; and extensive testing tools including memory and performance profiling, plus the addition of the automated testing framework to Flex Builder.

Adobe AIR is game-changing in so many ways, extending rich applications to the desktop, enabling access to the local file system, system tray, notifications and much more. Now you can write desktop applications using the same skills that you've been already using to create great webapps including both Flex and AJAX.

Don't miss out on the opportunity to see and hear about this highly anticipated release of Flex 3 and AIR during this special pre-release tour. Plus, in addition to giving away some one of a kind Flex/AIR branded schwag, we will also be raffling off a copy of Flex Builder 3 Professional (pending availability) and a full commercial copy of CS3 Web Premium at this event!

Check out the comprehensive listing of dates at flex.org/tour to see if the tour is coming to your city!

Dec
19

Ben Forta is once again heading to Nashville, only this time he'll be discussing Adobe Flex and AIR. This event is sponsored by several Nashville companies and is being hosted by the Nashville Flex User Group (615Flex). Registration for this January 2008 event has been opened to the public and is FREE! Interested participants should register fast as seating may be limited.

Event Info and Registration:
http://www.615flex.com/special-events/

Dec
9

Tomorrow (Dec. 10) John Mason will be presenting on fundamentals of Adobe AIR to the Nashville 615Flex user group. John will be covering topics such as the File system API, the SQLite engine, clipboard drag and drop, offline/online functionality and the AIR security model. If you're in Nashville, the presentation will be at Dealerskins, where I work. If you're outside of Nashville you can attend via Adobe Acrobat Connect. Matthew Wallace, the user group manager, hasn't shared the Connect URL yet, but when I get it I will post it here. Full meeting details are here.

UPDATE:
The Acrobat Connect URL for this meeting is: http://adobechats.adobe.acrobat.com/r99106993/